I never thought I was good at managing my money. In college, my bank account was nearly $0.00 ninety percent of the time. If it wasn't at $0.00, it was negative. Ok, I might be exaggerating a little, I only over withdrew twice. I had enough to buy my books, my groceries and (most importantly) alcohol. What else do you need in college? I was set.
Entering the "real world" was a bit of an adjustment. There were several more things that had to be paid for: rent, cell phone, cable, gas/electric, transportation, work clothes, even more groceries and (of course) alcohol. I meant to make a budget for myself, several times, and never did. But I managed. I learned to live on what I made and never over withdrew my account.
Lately, despite the recession, I feel like I've been spending more. Maybe I've been spending the same amount but it just feels like more because of the recession. How am I supposed to know? It's not like I balance my checkbook or keep track of my spending. I don't have time for that. And if you asked me how, I'd have no idea how to balance a checkbook.
Recently, I noticed Mint.com mentioned on a few blogs that I read. It's a money management site that makes it easy for you to track your debit and credit card transactions and set a monthly budget for all of your expenses. You can also have emails or texts sent to you when you are close to hitting your monthly budget on, say, shopping or taxis.
I only joined Mint yesterday and have only used it for creating a budget. But I've read that it can help in paying off student loans and lowering credit card interest rates.
In times like these, it's a good to have an idea of your spending habits and a budget (even if you go over it once or twice). So if you're like me and need a little help managing and keeping track of your spending, I'd check it out.